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The collected opinions of an august and aristocratic personage who, despite her body having succumbed to the ravages of time, yet retains the keen intellect, mordant wit and utter want of tact for which she was so universally lauded in her younger days. Being of a generation unequal to the mysterious demands of the computing device, Lady Bracknell relies on the good offices of her Editor for assistance with the technological aspects of her journal.

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Location: Bracknell Towers

Monday, December 12, 2005

Lady Bracknell's Theory of the Final Straw

Lady Bracknell, having been schooled from a very young age in the harsh reality that nobody other then oneself really has the slightest interest in hearing about the details of one’s health problems, is not one to write at length in public about the unpleasant physical effects of her impairments.

She will be alluding to some of them today, but craves her readers’ temporary forbearance. The purpose of this exception to her ladyship’s general rule should shortly become clear.

Lady Bracknell experiences chronic pain of very considerable severity in her lower back, sacro-iliac joints, and upper left leg as the result of multiple injuries to her lumbar discs. Her mobility is also substantially impaired. She has type II diabetes, for which she takes various medications. This means that, amongst other considerations, she must always take care to carry some morsels of sustaining food with her in her capacious handbag when she leaves the house.

(Readers will no doubt be relieved to read that the previous paragraph contains about as much detail concerning her ladyship’s impairments as is ever likely to be made available in the public domain.)

Naturally, the combination of these conditions is somewhat challenging and results in Lady Bracknell’s stamina being severely limited. But she has lived with the first for sixteen years, and the second for the better part of five, and is accustomed to dealing with their effects.

However – and here we come to the point behind this unusual degree of medical detail – Lady Bracknell has a much more minor complaint which, in comparison to her more established and much more serious conditions, drives her to absolute distraction.

Lady Bracknell has seasonal eczema*, the itching from which comparatively trivial skin condition she finds utterly intolerable. It may seem strange that an individual who can live quite happily with two fairly major health problems should feel herself to be pushed to the brink of sanity by a few small patches of inflamed skin, but it is the undeniable truth.

A truth, moreover, about which Lady Bracknell has developed a theory. (It has been some little while since Lady Bracknell has propounded one of her theories in the pages of this blog, and she flatters herself that her readers may have been pining for a new one.)

Lady Bracknell’s Theory of The Final Straw is that there is almost no end to the constant physical or mental discomfort which an individual can learn to endure in a stolid, and occasionally cheerful, manner. However, should any minor symptom only occur from time to time, and should the individual in question therefore not be given the opportunity to become accustomed to its hourly impact, that will be the symptom which he or she finds impossible to bear.

Should any of her ladyship’s loyal and regular readers be able to provide illustrations from their own experience to support her theory, they are most welcome to do so via the useful comments facility.

*Lady Bracknell recommends Lush’s “Dream Cream” for the treatment of topical eczema. She has found it to be considerably more effective than any of the emollients which can be bought in a pharmacy, or which have been prescribed for her by her general practitioner.


Blogger Katie said...

Miss Katie is gladdened by her ladyship's Theory of the Final Straw as this is the answer that Miss Katie has been after to solve her worries on her own health and experiences.

Miss Katie has always had lots of experiences where her physical and mental health has driven her mad in wanting to find an answer why but Miss Katie has been taught that to talk about about one's health can be tiring and boring for others to hear.

9:48 pm  
Blogger Lady Bracknell said...

Lady Bracknell is very pleased to have been of service to Miss Katie, and hopes that her various health problems are not too trying for her.

10:08 pm  
Blogger The Goldfish said...

Would Lady Bracknell please except my sympathies on account of her ecezma? I have some experience of this condition (a type I had on the palms of my hands - Itchy-coo Park), and some considerable experience of how minor complaints can be the most demoralising when added to the pile on top of far more burdonsome yet tolerable impairments.

My experience is that the most embarrassing minor problems are the most misery-making, and indeed struggle to think of an example that a Lady of such distinction would not mind reading about whilst eating her cucumber sandwiches.

Suffice to say that when your immune system is shot to pieces and your muscles don't work properly, it is your skin, personal areas and digestive system where you feel these secondary, temporary but often most demoralising effects.

10:30 pm  
Blogger Katie said...

Thank you your ladyship for your kind comments! My various health problems aren't too trying but if they suddenly become trying in the future she will of course have the support and advice of her ladyship and the other blog friends who she admires.

Miss Katie also wonders if her ladyship has recieved her Christmas email that Miss Katie has sent her by the wonders of technology and she hopes that her ladyship enjoys the festive period at Bracknell Towers with a nice glass of sherry or the like.

12:46 am  
Blogger Lady Bracknell said...

Lady Bracknell is always relieved to discover that her friend the Goldfish is in agreement with her, as she can then conclude with some certainty that she has not "lost the plot" entirely. Or not yet, at any rate.

8:17 am  
Blogger Lady Bracknell said...

Lady Bracknell apologises to Miss Katie for the fact that she rarely checks her hotmail account. She will redress the failure immediately.

8:18 am  
Blogger marmiteboy said...

Lady Bracknell's post is most interesting. I do not have any examples of health issues that provoke the Theory of the Final Straw as luckily I have nothing other than me leg, back hip and anxiety/depression all of which I can sort of cope with. However there are often outside influences that kick the Final Straw Theory off. Like my pc not working properly, or burning ones dinner in the oven or ones samll kitten refusing to stop plaaying with the laces of ones converse when one is tying them up.

All of these things can really tip me over the edge into despair.

9:00 am  
Anonymous Dude said...

In my experience, the best palliative for chronic back / hip / leg pain is to develop an ingrowing toenail and then stub said toe on the corner of the bedroom door. Takes yer mind off of yer other aches and pains a treat so it does.

3:23 pm  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Lady Bracknell may be interested to hear, that her theory was anticipated some years earlier by the admirable author Saki (H.H. Munro) who wrote, as near as I can remember:

"Many a saint who has resolved to suffer martyrdom for religion's sake, would be furiously unwilling to become a martyr to neuralgia."

3:34 pm  
Anonymous Genna said...

When tired, I pinch my hand to distract myself from the pain I feel elsewhere when walking, & it works! I do know what her ladyship means, I put up (relatively) cheerfully with all sorts of things, but whimper like a baby when I have to have blood tests. Ooh those needles are sharp & nasty. I have not been unfortunate enough to suffer eczema myself, but I have a close friend with the condition who found Blue Lagoon skincare products helpful, I obtained them for her on a trip to Reykjavik but they can be purchased online at www.bluelagoon.com

5:21 pm  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Oh yes, I can well recognise what is said by the wise Lady herself with regards to the final straw theory.

I often find it can be the littlest of things that can grate on oneself as opposed to the major factors in relation to matters that concern one with reduced vision.

I can say, to be sure, I can understand Lady B's seasonal skin complaint. I have a seasonal skin complaint myself. It only effects my hands. I'm sure this is down to the damp air and trying to dry my hands after washing them. However, I find my hands are often very dry. Some of the time, one, or two red patches develop where, it ends up resembling like a cut.

The only things I've tried, and find do work eventually *roll eyes* is the application of Aloe Vera gel topped with bee propolis cream.

Did that sound like a cookinery programme?
I find aloe vera very useful for a lot of issues relating to the skin.

Alas, it can be expensive and render the purse (wallet in this case) somewhat feeling rather empty.

6:11 pm  
Blogger Gimpy Mumpy said...

Miss Mumpy thanks the Lady for her sage advice on the lush creme. This being a shared affliction.

For the pain of the lumbar area I can only recommend the use of a TENS unit and a good stiff drink :)

12:20 am  
Blogger Lady Bracknell said...

Lady Bracknell has tried a TENS machine in the past but had to give it up for the same reason that she can not tale opioid pain killers, i.e. that - given her particular circumstances - it is dangerous for her to use or take anything which completely masks the pain because, if she does, she is likely to injure herself further.

If Miss Mumpy has been scratching her eczema, initial applications of Dream Cream will sting a bit. Nevertheless, it is miraculously effective at soothing the affected areas.

Does the Lush empire's reach extend to the United States? If not, Lady Bracknell will gladly arrange an emergency parcel for Miss Mumpy.

7:21 am  
Blogger Lady Bracknell said...

Miss Genna,

Lady Bracknell also deliberately inflicts pain on undamaged parts of herself on occasion to distract her attention from the pain in her back. When sitting in meetings she has, indeed, been known to bite her knuckles quite severely.

She was unaware of the Blue Lagoon range of products and will investigate further.

7:26 am  
Blogger Lady Bracknell said...

Lady Bracknell is honoured indeed to be mentioned in the same breath as the marvellous Saki, an author whose collected works she was once wont to purchase as a gift for any individual whom she held in especially high esteem.

7:30 am  
Blogger w1ld child said...

I don't post about my health complaints because I am under the dillusion that someone cares, I do it to prove they don't ;-) Only joking, goldfish, mumpy, marmite, pete, et al I just find it cheaper than replaceing windows and other such items after I've thrown things around.

12:17 pm  
Anonymous Genna said...

Genna has also been known to bite her knuckles hard in meetings, but this is usually to prevent her from laughing at some of the things other people consider worthy of a 4-hour discussion (Genna is considered something of an anarchist by her colleagues).

4:51 pm  

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